Nothing makes me want soup more than a blustery, cold and rainy week. Whether it’s chicken soup, lobster bisque, or steak – soup is a favorite comfort food. With the local news calling for back-to-back storms, I just had to whip up a big pot of healthy and hearty beef and vegetable soup. Rummaging in freezer, in the meats from the butcher’s box meat delivery I get from Keller Meats, I found a pound of pre-chopped beef fajita meat. Sounded like a good start for a beef vegetable recipe. Mind you, this is mid-week, and the meat is frozen. Sounds crazy, but with the Instant Pot I was up for the challenge. I took the meat from the freezer, and then put it in the fridge in the morning, and after work I’ll run to the market for some veg.
The diet that I try to follow reduces starches, so I don’t put potatoes or pasta in my soups. For this soup, I decided to try swapping parsnips in the place of potatoes. They will have the look of potatoes (trick the brain!) and will add some sweetness.
Pack In The Flavor
I try to pack tons of flavor into my meals, going for lots of variety and not skimping on seasonings. By doing that, I can control my portion size and not feel like I’m being denied the foods I love.
For this healthy and hearty beef and vegetable soup, I wanted to have lots of big chunks of veggies. It’s winter, so the freshies were a bit limited at the market, but I was happy to find some small cremini mushrooms, and my new favorite small cipollini onions. If you can’t find those, shallots are a good substitute. Try to vary the way you chop the veggies, so you have a bit of visual excitement too. These big mushrooms just scream “eat me!”
I like having the big chunks of fajita-cut meat. If you don’t have pre-cut meat available, you can get a chuck steak and cut it into strips. The Instant Pot does better with fattier cuts of meat, and those tend to have more flavor (bonus!). If the amount of fat concerns you, store the soup in a big bowl in the fridge after it’s cooked. Once chilled, you’ll be able to lift the solidified fat off the top very easily.
After work, with market shopping done, and all ingredients assembled, I was ready to rumble and start making this healthy and hearty beef and vegetable soup!
- 1 lb Beef pre-cut fajita meat, or chuck steak
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 3 Parsnips peeled, and rough chopped
- 4 Carrots peeled, and rough chopped
- 3 stalks Celery washed, and chopped
- 2 cup Cremini mushrooms washed, cut in half
- 8 Cipollini onions small, peeled and cut in half
- 1 clove Garlic
- 4 cups Beef bone broth
- 14 oz can Peeled, whole tomatoes chop into large chunks
- 3 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 4 sprigs Fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Salt adjust at end
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- Assemble your ingredients. Wash the mushrooms and celery in a colander and let drain. Peel Parsnips and carrots and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. I personally like big, chunky vegetables, but if you are cooking for kids, you may want smaller pieces.
- Cut up celery by slicing lengthwise into 4 pieces, and then cutting crosswise into thick, short chunks. The onions I had were small, so I just cut them in half, cut off the top and stem, and then peeled the outer layer. If your onions are bigger, you can cut them into smaller pieces. Chop or mince the garlic.
- Turn your Instant Pot on to “sauté”, and add the olive oil, let heat for a few minutes. Add half the meat and quickly brown, removing the first half to a small bowl before browning the second half. Don’t let the meat overcook. You are just wanting to put a bit of a sear on the meat, not cook it. Remove all meat to the bowl.
- In the Instant Pot, dump all the chopped vegetables and stir around, coating them with the meat juices and browned bits. Add the bone broth and scrape around the bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Turn off sauté.
- Add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and give it a stir. Add meat back in, along with the parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Give it all a stir.
- Close the lid, shut the vent, and set to Manual, high pressure for 5 minutes. When the time is up, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, If the pin hasn’t dropped, do a controlled release of the valve (turning part-way with a spoon or silicone glove. If soup begins to splatter, close the valve and open slowly again. This will minimize any splatter mess.).
- Turn off the pot, and carefully open it. Give the soup a stir. Serve in a bowl, top with some fresh chopped parsley, if you want to be fancy. Enjoy!
- Remove the inner pot and place on trivet to let cool. Soup will be very hot, so be careful. Once the soup has cooled down, I like to transfer it to a storage container to keep it in the fridge. I can then grab a bowl for dinners over the next few days. You can also transfer to small freezer-to-microwave bowls if you want to freeze in portions that can be heated up later.